Opinions please!!!: I recently read an... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Opinions please!!!

Jc101 profile image
18 Replies

I recently read an article about how schools are made for girls and not boys . It really got me thinking . When my 9 year old daughters teachers tell me she’s doing great , sometimes she tends to stare off and I have to snap her back into place . I’ve heard that every grade but no real concern . Now my son (recently diagnosed adhd inattentive at age 7) when I hear from his teachers , he really just stares off , gets bored , I think there’s something wrong . Why is it , when a boy gets bored in school , has a hard time sitting there for 7 hours it’s automatically a concern but when girls do it , it’s not that much of a problem? My son is not on medication (not opposed to it) but I don’t think it’s necessary at this point . It really gets me thinking that now a days school really isn’t made for boys in mind . Active young boys who get bored easily . Are we medicating just because of school? Maybe it’s school that needs to start being more flexible for our kids? This is in no way diminishing anyone’s story of how their child needs medication, it’s more of me rambling some thoughts I’ve been having . These are some legitimate concerns of mine regarding how much we expect of our children now adays in school .

18 Replies
Onthemove1971 profile image

Here is the sad reality... if you believe that to be the case "school is not for boys", than homeschooling is your only option becuase regular public school is n not going to change. I could not and would not homeschool my child.

But there are many things the schools do that I do not agree with..

Jc101 profile image
Jc101 in reply to Onthemove1971

I am not going to homeschool , but I’m just curious if anyone has put thought into this . We can not deny the fact that boys tend to get a bad rap and then in turn we look to an adhd diagnosis . I am not disputing my child has adhd. I believe it , I do . I am just pointing out that now a days school is so structured . So structured that we are forcing 5 year olds to read full books and when they don’t they are “falling behind” . I am just wondering if anyone feels this way too . That we are setting our children up sometimes for unrealistic expectations to sit all day in class and when they don’t ,.... medicate . Like I said I am not against medication, it may be that I will need to utilize it also . Just how do you know medication is the right answer if it’s only because of school boredom/inattentiveness ?

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to Jc101

This is a great discussion.. I also see teachers who are not interested in helping to make our children successful. Becuase they have 175 kids ( in middle school).

We do not medication just for school. He is unable to work with tutoring, sports and just around the house unless he has his medication. Also the medication does not STOP him from doing the symptoms ( be impulsive, distracted), it just makes it easier for them to control it.

It will be great to hear from others.

Jc101 profile image
Jc101 in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you for the reply . I am on the fence of medication. Like when do you know it’s needed? And are we doing it just for school? I can tell he struggles but I have seen great improvement just from finally acknowledging he cannot control his impulses. He’s not hyperactive, his impulsiveness when I ask him to do something he doesn’t want to . Instead of thinking to himself before he reacts , he automatically reacts and typically it’s with anger or frustration/crying. Years of behavior problems finally explained to me . But do I consider medication because of behavior at home? Even though he is getting good grades in school? Adhd has opened my eyes

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to Jc101

My opinion is that when specialist and doctors recommend it and I see that his entire life is effected (school, social settings, sports and home life -sat.sun all day) are all impacted we needed medication. Even with medication it is a struggle...

Mamabearof1 profile image
Mamabearof1 in reply to Jc101

We just started our first day of medicine today. We have a 5 yr old boy and have been fighting with private school and Montessori school for his behavior and not focusing. We are doing occupational therapy on top of that and it seems to be helping. Our struggles were at home as well as school. We were at our breaking point.. hopefully we will see some improvement. But we have to look at public school for Kindergarten.

Hi, just wanted to chime in a little bit. The studies indicate that girls are WAY underdiagnosed with ADHD. From what I understand because they do not usually act out physically, no one really notices that they are having problems with focus, the way that they notice boys. Girls are also more likely to want to be perfectionists so they will just try harder and get ok grades. I talked to my daughter's pediatric psychiatric NP about this yesterday and she gave me a couple of studies that indicate this as well. I'm not sure it's an issue about schools are made for girls, it's an issue about who notices the behavior and why. But really when you get down to it, how are you going to support your child? What are your strengths and weaknesses and how can your specific family support your child? Medication is helping my daughter in a dramatic way. I could never homeschool my daughter, it would hurt our relationship. We go to family therapy because we need to and it's good for us.

I would encourage you to at least try medication. If you don't like it, you can stop, it's really that easy.

Jc101 profile image
Jc101 in reply to

Thankyou . I think I’m at a cross roads now that I have this diagnosis now what? Is his behavior problems directly related to the adhd? Does medicine help that or therapy? Do I medicate just because he can’t focus in school? It’s definitely a hard choice. I guess my whole point is this article I read had so many valid points on girls vs boys I school . I do agree that girls are probably very much undiagnosed.

in reply to Jc101

What would be the harm in trying medication? And yes, medications do help behavior problems because the kids are able to focus and not be distracted. If they can actually focus, then they know what is going on and they don't act out. It might take awhile to find the right medication, but it has been a godsend for my daughter. I am a single Mom and we also attend family therapy and my daughter has individual therapy and EMDR. I have also instituted things at my home (like checklists, signs, visual cues, etc.) to help my daughter remember what she has to do around the house, to get ready for school...it really is a combination of things, trial and error and mostly just loving these kiddos who are really genius, creative, hilarious (last night I laughed so hard I cried at a joke my daughter invented) amazing people.

kcluanne profile image

I do not see it so much as a boy versus girl problem, but I do agree that schools do not do enough to allow for differences in students. I have a 6 year old girl who was recently diagnosed and she displays the more typical “male” ADHD symptoms-impulsiveness, hyperactivity, distracting at school- and it was a big problem in her class. She would get points taken away for something as benign as using the bathroom during class time. But regardless if you are a male or a female, if you are unable to sit still and focus for sustained periods or listen, you will likely be labeled as a problem student. I understand from a teachers perspective they have 25 other students to teach and if you can’t sit still or control your impulses you are going to be a distraction to the other 24 students, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of students whose brains just work a little differently.

For the record, I was initially on the fence about putting my daughter on medication but after doing my research I changed my mind and her medication has made a huge difference. We only have her on it at school and since starting it she isn’t constantly in trouble or being isolated anymore. She is having much better days behaviorally and her grades shot up as well. That is just my experience though, I am grateful that it has worked for her.

Van3939 profile image

Completely agree! Also another factor is a schools reputation. I live in a community that property values are higher based on school district, they hold students to higher standards than surrounding schools. As far as medicating your child... talk to as many people as you can (parents) trust your gut, you know your child better than anyone, medication isn’t for every child with adhd, try other methods if you feel comfortable. Every child with adhd is different and so treat shouldn’t be cookie cutter. My opinion is medication should be final method applied but again that’s my opinion

Jc101 profile image

I have a follow up with my sons dr to talk about some next steps whether it be medication or therapy . I feel like I got this diagnosis and then was left to figure it out myself . I think my sons dr wanted to see how the school setting improved if any before we moved forward . I had a 504 plan in place and although some improvements have been made his lack of focus obviously hasn’t changed . It’s hard knowing the right thing to do for your child . The hardest thing is his behavior at home . He’s not horrific just immediately any response he has with something he doesn’t want to do is “no! , your the worst! Etc” nothing has worked over the years , no improvements so that shows me he cannot control it . Hoping to get some answers next week on what my n cat steps should be .

WendyD1969 profile image

I absolutely agree! When I was in school, we had an hour of recess and got to “play” more in Phys Ed. My son gets two 15 minute breaks for recess and Phys Ed is all calisthenics. Boys (and girls) need physical activity during the day. We have put our son on supplements and it has made a huge difference. However, he also has had a wonderful teacher (the same one for first and second grade) who has kept us informed of his behavior and works with him daily. She gives him “errands “ to do when he starts to get fidgety and rewards him for good behavior. If we didn’t have her though i don’t know where we would be. So many teachers just assume the child is just misbehaved and aren’t willing or able to work with. Schools are geared towards getting the best scores on standardized tests and they teach to the test. Not all kids can sit for 7 hours a day and stay focused (ADHD) or not. Unfortunately, boys suffer more because of this.

We go to a counselor and she recommended we read “The Boy Crisis”. I highly suggest it!

K0205 profile image

I agree. School is hard for all those that require more physical activity which tends to be boys. My son is now a sophomore but he had 2 elementary teachers that were great with the active kids. One would have the entire class go outside once or twice a day to run one lap around the playground. The other teacher had extra training in special education. She had great communication methods for ADD/ADHD children. If they acted up in class she would walk by while teaching and place something on their desk as a sign to quiet down without calling them out in front of the class. She allowed these kids to hold a stress ball and take more frequent breaks for water or bathroom. My son gained his confidence back in school because of her. Our teachers especially in our state, are so under trained. There are classes set up for autistic kids & I really believe ADD kids need their own class as well, they learn better in a different environment.

I think you are absolutely right. Find out what you can about extra training the teachers in the district have. I would send a letter via email before the first day of school each year to my sons teachers explaining what he needs, what to do & not to do in certain situations. I asked if he could hold the stress ball in class. There are sample letters on line for this.

Nla1 profile image

I have a 6 yr old boy with ADHD and he is not on medication. He is hyper, reactive, impulse, aggressive... and genius. He has an amazing personality and is very charasmatic. School has been horrendously difficult - up until now.... supplements, exercise before school, an IEP with an aid for behavior support who happens to be a young guy who does personal training on the side and is amazing with my son. He gets physical breaks from class where they shoot hoops, or run together etc. also, his diet is strict; no artificial flavors, little to no sugar, high protein and low carbs AND this is the first year he is thriving in school and not the ‘bad kid’!.... I just stayed the course and worked with him and his ADHD. I cried a lot, but I read more. After learning about neuropathy and brain maps & seeing the results of people who underwent Neurofeedback to improve focus and impulse control, I knew my son could do it without meds. (We didn’t do Neurofeedback, but if he digresses I would pay to have him in treatment) Anyway, I felt loads of pressure to medicate, and I know it works for many, but I didn’t feel ‘ok’ with it. I also spend a lot of time talking to him about his emotions after he has had an episode and he is actually learning to communicate his feelings before he ‘sees red’.

- this is just my experience & I wanted to share it with you.

Do what you intuitively feel is right. For many, it is medication (and this certainly can make things easier), but for others medication is not the right answer for them. Depends on so many factors. I am just grateful for the insurmountable progress my son is making, and how much he is learning to manage himself and recognize when he is getting upset, etc. my husband and I don’t treat him like something is ‘wrong with him,’ we just accept that he is entirely impulse and hyper- that he has no filter, but we believe in building him and giving him his own resources and for us This is working.

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to Nla1

I commend you in all that you have done for him. I hope he continues to make progress in the future.

Nla1 profile image
Nla1 in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you so much... it is another job but he is worth it.

Sending all of us parents strength and superpowers :)

Jc101 profile image

Thank you everyone for your advice . It’s being a part of this community and listening to everyone’s similar stories along with success stories that prompted me to make another dr appt for my son to talk with his dr . I started his first dose of medicine this morning . 2 ml of Dyanavel . Lowest dose starting to see if we have a difference . His dr said with the behavior that I described stimulants are at a 90% success right and that we should try it . I am so hopeful and almost excited to see the improvements . I explained everything to him and he almost seemed happy and relieved to be trying medicine . I know he’s only 7 so he can’t grasp the full concept of medicine but we are on the right path

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